AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Austin Gives, a community program committed to recognizing and encouraging business philanthropy, awarded three local businesses (one small, one medium and one large) for their outstanding efforts in business philanthropy. This year’s award recipients included Zuma Office Supply, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (Texas) and eBay.
The awards ceremony took place at the Four Season Hotel on Tuesday, Jan. 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and united community leaders, local businesses and the nonprofits they support to celebrate and encourage citywide giving. Mayor Lee Leffingwell kicked off the event with opening remarks, followed by keynote speaker, John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and Patron Spirits, who spoke on the importance of business philanthropy. Judy Maggio and Walt Maciborski, anchors for KEYE TV, served as the event's emcees.
“Most people have either time or resources to donate, and businesses are no different,” said John Paul DeJoria. “We contribute to make the world a better place to live, which makes everyone better, and in Austin, the generosity of local businesses make this city a better place to live.”
In addition, the organization celebrated reaching its goal of securing 200 members by 2013, a milestone that was reached just days before the year’s end.
“I’m proud to support an organization that promotes the overall social and economic welfare of the city of Austin by encouraging local businesses to give back,” said Mayor Lee Leffingwell. “In its first two years, Austin Gives has achieved tremendous growth, and I look forward to seeing the success of this Austin community program continue for years to come.”
About the Winners
Charitable Champion (under 50 employees): Zuma Office Supply
Zuma Office Supply (Zuma) provides Austin nonprofits with generosity in many forms, including monetary contributions, volunteered time and donated office supplies. Their business model is structured to donate 50 percent of the company’s yearly earnings to 10 nonprofits each year, which are selected through a voting process completed by the organization’s customers. Employees are encouraged to volunteer through company-wide projects, which have included providing relief for those affected by the recent Austin floods and holiday food drives. In 2013, Zuma won 2nd place in the Capital Area Food Bank’s Small Business Challenge and were part of a program that donated over 800 pairs of shoes, 2,000 pairs of socks and 100 gift cards to the Salvation Army’s Shoe In program.
Big Heart (50 to 250 employees): Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (Texas)
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (Texas) is committed to increasing visibility for local nonprofits and jumpstarting conversations about the needs of the Austin community. Their Caring Cup Wristband program is a fundraising campaign that is completed four times each year. One nonprofit is supported during each of the four events, and in addition to the monetary donations they receive as a result of this campaign, they also report a 15 percent increase in website traffic and volunteers during their participation. In 2013 alone, donations from this program totaled over $110,000. Individual and group volunteering is also encouraged among the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (Texas) staff.
Bold Giver (over 250 employees): eBay
eBay’s philanthropic program includes three elements of giving: money, donated expertise and volunteering. Their 2013 Small Business Challenge allowed employees to team up in groups of five and donate their skills to six elected nonprofits. These teams dedicated 10 percent of their work time over a six-month period to discover the challenges of their chosen nonprofit, define what technology could do to help, design solutions for these issues and deliver the work-product to overcome these challenges. In addition, eBay matches all employee donations of up to $2,500 per year; creates grants from their own Foundation totaling $40,000, given to select nonprofits based on employee nominations and voting; and has a philanthropy committee that is in charge of creating three to four charity projects each quarter, such as Coats for Kids, toy drives, fundraisers and more, to benefit the nonprofit community.
About Austin Gives’ GeneroCity Awards
The Austin Gives GeneroCity Award Program was created to recognize Austin businesses that are leaders in giving back to community-based, non-profit organizations. Each year, one small, one medium and one large business is recognized at the annual GeneroCity Awards celebration. Award recipients are selected by a panel comprised of local community leaders, including Nikelle Meade of Husch Blackwell; John-Michael Cortez of Capital Metro; Olga Campos of U.S. Money Reserve; Denise Bradley of St. David’s Healthcare; and Bobby Jenkins of ABC Home & Commercial Services. This year’s finalists included Alt Creative, Sabre Commercial, Realty Austin, Silicon Labs and The Advisory Board Company. Only Austin Gives members are eligible for the award.
Due to Austin Gives increasing success and visibility, the organization achieved its second milestone of reaching over 200 members in 2013.
“In our second year, we are ecstatic to reach our goal of 200 Austin Gives members in 2013,” says Debbie Johnson, executive director of Austin Gives. “We are also extremely fortunate to have the support of local community leaders that enable our organization to celebrate our members for their generosity, not only at the GeneroCity Awards celebration, but year round as well.”
This year’s GeneroCity Awards sponsors include:
- Presenting luncheon sponsor: St. David’s Healthcare and St. David’s Foundation
- Presenting awards sponsor: eBay
- Sustaining sponsors: ABC Home and Commercial Services, H-E-B, Wells Fargo, Workplace Resource and Yellow Cab/Hail a Cab Austin
- Luncheon media sponsor: Austin Business Journal
- Supporting sponsors: Get the Picture, PSAV, Red Fan Communications and TyRex Group, Ltd.
- Partner sponsor: Austin American-Statesman
- Friend sponsors: 3M, Austin Community Foundation, Deloitte, eBay, Elizabeth Christian & Associates Public Relations, Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas, Gottesman Residential Real Estate, Gracy Title/Give Realty, Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, GSD&M, Harden Healthcare, Heritage Title, Higginbotham, Howdy Honda, I Live Here, I Give Here, JE Dunn, KEYE TV, Sabre Commercial, Silicon Laboratories, Southside Flying Pizza, Texas Gas Service, The Steam Team, Truluck’s, United Way for Greater Austin, Vintage IT Services
- Annual media partners: Austin American-Statesman and KEYE TV
About Austin Gives
Austin Gives is a nonprofit organization committed to encouraging and recognizing business philanthropy in the Austin, Texas, community. This community program resulted from a collaborative effort amongst the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas, United Way for Greater Austin, Austin Community Foundation and I Live Here, I Give Here. All businesses that commit to giving one percent or more of pre-tax earnings to local charities, regardless of company size, are invited to join Austin Gives at no charge. Austin Gives then recognizes the generosity of its members’ philanthropic efforts at the organization’s annual award ceremony and through traditional and social media throughout the year. In addition, Austin Gives hosts year-round complimentary information sessions for business leaders and nonprofits to further encourage participation in philanthropic giving. After surpassing member numbers experienced by similar programs in Denver and Minneapolis that have existed for 20 or more years, Austin Gives, after only two years, is comprised of over 200 members and remains committed to putting Austin on the map as best-in-class in philanthropic giving.
To learn more information about Austin Gives or to join the organization at no charge, visit www.austingives.net, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Debbie Johnson, executive director of Austin Gives at 512-517-9485.